LDMLFN Flood Claim - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
The First Nation has prepared this document which contains some recently asked questions (FAQ) by its members and the corresponding answers to those questions. .
Question: Who decides if the Settlement Agreement that is being offered to the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation is accepted or not?
Answer: In order to formally accept the Settlement Agreement, a community referendum must be held. It is the responsibility of all Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation (LDMLFN) members to vote on whether or not to accept the Settlement Agreement. In short, registered LDMLFN Band Members who are 18 years of age and older as of the vote date, will have the opportunity to either accept or reject the Settlement Agreement through a community referendum. For more information on First Nation community referendums please visit: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._957/page-1.html
Question: I am an adult who has applied to AANDC-INAC for my Indian Status as being affiliated with the LDMLFN Band. I have not yet received confirmation from the Department of Indigenous Affairs. Will I qualify for compensation under this Settlement Agreement?
Answer: In order to qualify for compensation, these individuals (18 years of age or older) must provide written proof (INAC correspondence) that they have already started the process of their Registration/Band Membership, as of the final voting day of the Referendum. Compensation monies will only be dispersed to individuals who are confirmed as a Registered Band Member of the LDMLFN. It is highly recommended that these individuals notify the LDMLFN if this applies to them.
Question: Will my child qualify for compensation under the Settlement Agreement?
Answer: Children & youth under the age of 18 are eligible for compensation provided:
(i) The child is already registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Registration System and on the current LDMLFN Band List as of the final voting day of the Referendum; or
(ii)The child is eligible for enrollment as a Status Indian under the Indian Act with membership to the LDMLFN Band as of the final voting day of the Referendum; and must provide written proof (INAC correspondence) that the registration process was already underway, prior to the final voting day of the Referendum.
Question: What about children whose parents have not registered them as of the final voting day of the Referendum. Will they qualify for these monies?
Answer: No, they will not qualify. If their parents did not start the registration process for them as of the final day of voting of the Referendum, they will not qualify for compensation monies. The responsibility lies entirely with parents to ensure that the registration process has started no later than the final voting day of the Referendum, for any eligible children who are not yet registered under the Indian Act and as members of LDMLFN. Chief and Council have put forth information in the First Nation’s newsletters as well as reminders to their members involving changes to the Indian Act surrounding criteria for eligibility. (ie. rulings in Bill C-3 on eligibility)
Question: What happens to the Settlement Agreement compensation monies for children and youth under 18 years of age and how do they access it once they turn 18?
Answer: All Settlement Agreement compensation monies for LDMLFN Band Members under the age of 18 years will be held in trust. Once the individual turns 18, he or she may access their settlement monies by providing a written request to the LDMLFN Chief and Council, who will then forward the information to the Trustees. These individuals will also receive any interest earned on the initial payout. This process will be administered by a legal trust entity, and not the LDMLFN.
Question: If the membership ratifies the vote IN FAVOUR OF ACCEPTING the Settlement Agreement, when will the monies be distributed?
Answer: There is a seven (7 day) appeal period immediately following the vote. If this timeframe passes without an appeal launched, with respect to the voting process, Canada, Ontario and the LDMLFN will then be in a position to sign the final Settlement Agreement. After the Settlement Agreement is signed by all parties, the governments of Canada and Ontario will have up to 45 days to process the monies to the LDMLFN. Your Chief and Council acknowledge that their people have waited patiently and would like the monies distributed as quickly as possible. Taking this into consideration, the First Nation is looking into options whereby the payout can be expedited for its members..
Question: How long is the Referendum process?
Answer: The Referendum has to be held in accordance with the Referendum Regulations under the Indian Act. The final voting day for our referendum will be on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017.
Question: What happens should the membership vote to NOT ACCEPT the Settlement Agreement at this time?
Answer: The LDMLFN has worked very hard at negotiating this claim for the last seven and a half years. The Chief and Council, along with members of the Negotiations Team, all believe that this is the best offer that can be secured at this time. This claim is for damages directly related to the flooding of the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation – Reserve 22A1. Should the majority of the membership vote to not accept the offer, the claim will then have to go to either a Tribunal (minimum 3 year process) to pursue against Canada, or to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (indefinite timeline) to pursue against Ontario.
Question: Can I access a deceased family member’s portion of the Settlement Agreement compensation monies?
Answer: No, unfortunately this cannot be done. Once a person is deceased they legally are no longer members of the First Nation. This principle holds true in all legal matters. For further clarity, as of the final voting day of the Referendum, all individuals must still be eligible to be on the LDMLFN Band List in order to receive the Settlement Agreement compensation monies.
Question: I don’t have a bank account. Can I still access the Settlement Agreement compensation monies?
Answer: All individuals 18 years of age or older must have a bank account (opened in their name) with a registered bank or credit union in order to receive the Settlement Agreement compensation monies. All Settlement monies will be paid out to members by electronic bank transfers. If you have not already done so, please provide your banking information to Honey Chicago at the Band Office either via fax (807) 622-9866, by email to email@example.com or in person. Valid Identification will be required for verification purposes. For more information please contact Honey Chicago at 807-622-9835 (ext 221.)
Question: Is this Referendum process the same process that we follow for our election of Chief and Council?
Answer: No it is a different process. While there may be some similarities, the Referendum Regulations are governed under INAC’s rules and procedures. The Electoral Officer is appointed from INAC and is responsible for carrying out this process. It is imperative that our members carefully read and follow the instructions as laid out in the Referendum packages on what steps they need to take in order to vote properly.
Question: Does the First Nation have other claims that have already been filed or that they are working on submitting?
Answer: The First Nation has a number of other claims that your Chief and Council have been compiling information on and getting ready for submission. Once this flooding claim (Reserve 22A1) has been settled, your Chief and Council will work towards ensuring that the submission of these other claims are done in the most effective and all-encompassing manner. Having first-hand experience with this claim, we can put our expertise to good use in expediting these other claims with excellent outcomes. Your Chief and Council are committed to working with the membership and will continue to communicate information about these other potential claims as work progresses.
Should you have additional questions that are not answered in the above FAQ, please email the First Nation and/or submit your questions to: Chief and Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Reminder: While we understand that some of our members enjoy utilizing social media, it is strongly recommended that if you are searching for the correct answer to your question on any matter regarding the First Nation, it is best and advisable to visit our own website at http://www.lacdesmillelacsfirstnation.ca
This will ensure that you have the most up to date and correct information, rather than relying on other social media sites where information may be wrong or misleading and produce potentially undesirable outcomes.
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